Premises Accident Injuries
Accidents that occur on someone else’s property because of the negligence of the owner or operator are called premises accidents. The most common types of premises accidents are slip or trip and fall accidents and accidents occurring around swimming pools. If you are injured on someone else’s property, the property owner may be found liable for your damages if you can prove negligence in the proper maintenance of the premises.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents
It’s the very last thing you expect when you go out for a dinner with friends, to the grocery store, or just around your neighborhood for a walk: you slip, trip, and fall—and the next thing you know, you’re in the emergency room with a broken bone, an excruciating back pain, or any one of the many injuries that a bad fall can cause. In many cases, the fall was directly related to someone’s carelessness or negligence in the maintenance of their property. When this is the case, there is a very good chance that you’ll be able to recover money for your damages, both your financial damages and those that affect your quality of life.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents: the Numbers
Falling is not something most people tend to give a lot of thought to, but you might be surprised to learn just how common and how dangerous slip, trip, and fall accidents can be. If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured in a fall, you are not alone. These are some of the surprising statistics about injuries in the United States caused by falling:
- Roughly 8,000,000 people suffer non-fatal injuries in falls every year, and 24,000 people die from them, according to data supplied by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. Many result in death or permanent brain damage (CDC), and account for almost half of fall-related deaths among older Americans.
- About a third of all Americans over 65 are injured in falls each year.
- More than 95 percent of all hip fractures are caused by falls (CDC).
- The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 15 percent workplace deaths attributable to accidents are caused by falling.
- Falls are the second most frequent cause of workplace deaths.
- Workplace slip, trip, and fall accidents cause more than 300,000 injuries every year. That works out to approximately one fall every two minutes.
- More people visit hospital emergency rooms for treatment for fall-related injuries than for auto accidents. Close to 9 million hospital people visit hospitals annually for fall-related injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
- The most common injuries from falls are fractures of the leg, hip, hand, upper arm, forearm, hand, spine, and pelvis.
- Almost half of all slip, trip, and fall injuries happen on cracked, uneven, littered, or slippery public walks.
Where Fall Accidents Happen
Slip, trip, and fall premises liability accidents can occur just about any place where people are allowed to be, for example:
- Apartment buildings
- Office buildings
- Job sites
- Night clubs
- Retail businesses
- “Big box” stores
- Daycare centers
- Storage facilities
- Parking lots
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facilities
The Property Owner’s Legal Duty
Anyone who owns or operates property that is open and accessible to the public owes those who enter the premises a duty to keep them reasonably safe from harm by not creating or allowing hazards to exist. Potentially unsafe conditions include these and others:
- Cracked, broken, and uneven pavement
- Trash, fallen limbs, debris on a sidewalk
- Wet, slippery conditions near a store entrance
- Roots causing elevation of part of a sidewalk
- Food or merchandise that has fallen from shelves into store aisles
- Spilled food or beverages
- Cords or wires where people walk
- Staircases with broken steps or missing handrails
- Broken tiles or floorboards
- Wet, highly waxed, or over-polished floors
- Slippery sidewalks from sprinkler systems
- Ripped carpet
- Poor lighting conditions
Recovering Damages after a Slip, Trip, and Fall Accident
As the statistics above show, slip, trip, and fall accidents often cause very serious injuries and even death. If you or a family member has been injured in a fall that was cause by another individual, business, or government entity, you may be able to recover money in compensation for your damages. This might include financial damages such as medical bills, lost earnings, household help, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the injury, as well as non-economic damage that diminish your quality of life, such as pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inability to participate in the activities you usually enjoy.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Alabama being a hot southern state, swimming pools are ubiquitous. Taking a dip in the pool is a great pleasure on a hot southern day, but if the pool owner has been negligent in maintaining the safety of the pool area, he or she may incur liability if an accident occurs.
Swimming pools are a danger to children, and most swimming pool liability cases arise from failing to safeguard children around a pool. Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death of children under 14. Diving accidents are also a danger to children and adolescents, often resulting in paralysis or death. These tragic accidents occur primarily because owners fail to make pools inaccessible to unsupervised children by means of fencing and locks.
Alabama, unlike a number of other states, does not have a specific law requiring fencing around residential swimming pools. The Alabama Department of Public Health recommends five-foot high fencing with locked gates, but this is a non-binding regulation to be used as a guideline.
Nevertheless, if the owner of a pool has not secured the area adequately, and a child drowns or is injured, the family may claim damages for their child’s injury or wrongful death under Alabama’s premises liability statute.
As with any premises liability claim, it is important to have the best legal representation you can find to maximize your likelihood of recovering compensation. In Birmingham, the attorneys of Drake law firm have more than twenty-five years of total experience bringing all types personal injury and wrongful death claims, including many premises liability cases.
At Drake Law, our entire practice is dedicated to recovering compensation for our injured and bereaved clients. Personal injury law is all we do, and we are very, very good at it. We understand the devastation a serious injury or death can cause, and we are deeply committed to seeking justice for those whose loss is not their fault, but the result of someone else’s negligent or wrongful act.
Free Premises Accident Consultation
If you were injured on someone else’s premises because of the owner or operator’s negligence, we can help. Call us to set a time for a free consultation. There is no obligation and no risk to you, because you only pay us if we win money for you.
The amount of time in which you are able to file a claim is limited by Alabama law, so don’t wait—call Drake Law today.